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Safety Tips | Office safety | Workplace exposure

Improve indoor air quality

March 1, 2012

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Workers exposed to poor indoor air quality may experience headaches, shortness of breath, coughing or nausea. The Environmental Protection Agency offers the following advice for improving indoor air quality:

  • Maintain a good working relationship with building management.
  • Make sure air supply vents are not blocked by furniture or equipment.
  • Manage pollutant sources, such as smoking, remodeling and renovation materials, housekeeping and pest control products, or exhaust fumes from loading docks or garages.
  • Isolate areas chosen for remodeling or renovation activities to minimize exposure to pollutants or schedule activities for weekends.
  • Moisture and relative humidity can cause mold and other contaminants to thrive. Respond quickly to leaks, floods and other incidents.
  • Provide educational opportunities for staff members that establish clear pollutant source management procedures.
  • Speak with a physician if any health problems occur to discuss possible symptoms caused by indoor air-related problems.
  • Store food correctly and dispose of garbage quickly.
  • Minimize outdoor particles of dust or dirt that may be drawn into a building from outside, but may also be produced from sanding wood, drywall, printing, copying or operating equipment.
  • In the event that an employee reports a symptom believed to be caused by poor indoor air quality, investigate the ventilation system and consider help from a qualified professional.

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